EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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Merrimack Valley

April 21, 2013

St. Augustine gym moves forward, fundraising continues

(Continued)

The gymnasium is not the only upgrade facing the campus in the coming months. Because of the size of St. A’s school property, the church had to purchase property next door just so it would have enough space for the gym’s footprint, according to Gori.

To move forward with its plans, St. Augustine Parish bought a piece of property on School Street along St. Augustine’s Drive, which included .663 acres of land and a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $675,000, according to Gori.

The school plans to keep and use the house in the future, though it has barely started discussing how.

“We’ve just barely started to dream about that,” Gori said. “One of our long-range plans is to bring the early-education program onto the main campus. Right now, that’s housed in two halls below St. Augustine’s Church on Essex Street.”

In the meantime, the school plans to rent the property out for residential use, according to Gori.

With the purchase, the school will also be able to expand its staff parking space out back. Currently built for 20 parallel parking spaces, the newly built lot will support around 40 cars parked horizontally, according to Gori.

The gym construction is expected to start in July and take around eight months to complete. A ceremonial groundbreaking will take place at the school just before the end of the school year, according to Gori.

Of the $1.9 million needed to build the gym, the school has around $700,000 built up so far between money saved over the years and recent fundraising efforts, Gori said.

Along with continued fundraising efforts, the school will cover a portion of the construction’s cost through a loan with the Archdiocese, according to Gori.

“They’ve been watching the fundraising as it has been going on, and they’re pleased with what they see because it’s an indication of the strong, enthusiastic support there is here for the project,” he said.

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